Airbus said to deliver over 700 jets in 2017

Airbus stuck to an official 2017 target of more than 700 aircraft deliveries. (Reuters)
Updated 02 January 2018
0

Airbus said to deliver over 700 jets in 2017

LONDON: European planemaker Airbus delivered over 700 aircraft in 2017, breaking company records and meeting its core industrial target for the year, industry sources said.
Exact figures have been kept under wraps ahead of an announcement on Jan. 15, but the sources said Airbus handed over a record monthly total of jets in December, surpassing the previous monthly peak of 111 seen in the closing weeks of 2016.
Coming on top of 591 deliveries posted between January and November last year, that implies deliveries of at least 703 aircraft in 2017 as a whole, up at least 2 percent from 2016.
A spokesman for Airbus declined comment.
Airbus stuck throughout 2017 to an official target of more than 700 deliveries for the year, but abandoned a more ambitious informal goal of more than 720 deliveries in October due to continued delays in engine deliveries for the A320neo family.
Airbus officials have said the delays have now eased, following a two-year wrangle with supplier Pratt & Whitney over late engines for the company’s fastest-selling jet.
It is the second year in a row that Airbus has been forced to accelerate sharply in December, with that month’s deliveries accounting for at least 16 percent of the annual total.
Without disclosing numbers, Chief Operating Officer Fabrice Bregier thanked staff in a memo for “huge collective efforts” that had seen the company break records for deliveries logged both in one month and in one year, industry sources said.
Still, insiders said the strong industrial performance would be seen by many as a personal coup for Bregier, weeks before he is due to leave the company after losing a bid to succeed Chief Executive Tom Enders, who is himself leaving in 2019.
Airbus is bracing for more internal changes this year as it emerges from a top-level power struggle and rows over the handling of corruption investigations, but ended 2017 with what appears to be a grand slam performance from its current regime.
Besides ending the year on record output, Airbus is also heading for a record December in new business after soon-to-retire sales chief John Leahy announced the firming up of more than 700 orders, equivalent to a year’s production.
Both Leahy and Bregier are leaving Airbus in coming weeks, handing their responsibilities to executives from outside the planemaking inner circle: Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury, who will replace Bregier as head of the planemaking division, and Rolls-Royce civil engines head Eric Schulz, who will replace Leahy after he retires later this month.
Airbus will remain in second place on deliveries in 2017 behind the world’s largest planemaker, Boeing, but analysts say the outcome of the order race depends on how many of the new sales make it into the end-year tally of net orders.


Wells Fargo to pay $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

Updated 20 April 2018
0

Wells Fargo to pay $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

  • Fine the latest in a series of setbacks for US bank
  • Federal Reserve in February prohibited lender from growing assets until governance issues addressed

Wells Fargo will pay $1 billion to federal regulators to settle charges tied to its mortgage and auto lending business, the latest chapter in years-long, wide-ranging scandal at the banking giant. However, it appears that none of the $1 billion will go directly to the victims of Wells Fargo’s abuses.
In a settlement announced Friday, Wells will pay $500 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, its main national bank regulator, as well as a net $500 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The action by the CFPB is notable because it is the first penalty imposed by the bureau under Mick Mulvaney, who President Trump appointed to take over the consumer watchdog agency in late November. The $500 million is also the largest penalty imposed by the CFPB in its history, the previous being a $100 million penalty also against Wells Fargo, and matches the largest fine ever handed out by the Comptroller of the Currency, which fined HSBC $500 million in 2012.
The fine against Wells Fargo had been expected. The company disclosed last week that it was in discussions with federal authorities over a possible settlement related to its mortgage and auto lending businesses, and that the fine could be as much as $1 billion.
The settlement also contains other requirements that would restrict Wells Fargo’s business. The bank will need to come with a risk management plan to be approved by bank regulators, and get approval from bank regulators before hiring senior employees.
“While we have more work to do, these orders affirm that we share the same priorities with our regulators and that we are committed to working with them as we deliver our commitments with focus, accountability, and transparency,” said Wells Fargo Chief Executive Tim Sloan in a statement.
The $500 million paid to the Comptroller of the Currency will be paid directly to the US Treasury, according to the order. The $500 million paid to the CFPB will go into the CFPB’s civil penalties fund, which is used to help consumers who might have been impacted in other cases. But zero dollars of either penalty is going directly to Wells Fargo’s victims.
The bank has already been reimbursing customers in its auto and mortgage businesses for these abuses. Wells Fargo has been refunding auto loan customers since July and been mailing refund checks to impacted mortgage customers since December.
While banks have benefited from looser regulations and lower taxes under President Trump, Wells Fargo has been called out specifically by Trump as a bank that needed to be punished for its bad behavior.
“Fines and penalties against Wells Fargo Bank for their bad acts against their customers and others will not be dropped, as has incorrectly been reported, but will be pursued and, if anything, substantially increased. I will cut Regs but make penalties severe when caught cheating!,” Trump wrote on Twitter back in December.
The abuses being addressed Friday are not tied directly to Wells Fargo’s well-known sales practices scandal, where the bank admitted its employees opened as much as 3.5 million bank and credit card accounts without getting customers’ authorization. But they do involve significant parts of the bank’s businesses: auto lending and mortgages.
Last summer Wells Fargo admitted that hundreds of thousands of its auto loan customers had been sold auto insurance that they did not want or need. In thousands of cases, customers who could not afford the combined auto loan and extra insurance payment fell behind on their payments and had their cars repossessed.
In a separate case, Wells Fargo also admitted that thousands of customers had to pay unnecessary fees in order to lock in their interest rates on their home mortgages. Wells Fargo is the nation’s largest mortgage lender.
Wells Fargo has been under intense scrutiny by federal regulators for several months. The Federal Reserve took a historic action earlier this year by mandating that Wells Fargo could not grow larger than the $1.95 trillion in assets that it currency held and required the bank to replace several directors on its board. The Federal Reserve cited “widespread abuses” as its reason for taking such an action.
This settlement does not involve Wells Fargo’s wealth management business, which is reportedly under investigation for improprieties similar to those that impacted its consumer bank. Nor does this involve an investigation into the bank’s currency trading business.
Consumer advocates have been critical of the Trump administration’s record since it took over the CFPB late last year. However, advocates were pleased to see Wells Fargo held to account.
“Today’s billion dollar fine is an important development and a fitting penalty given the severity of Wells Fargo’s fraudulent and abusive practices,” said Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union.